A co-worker was seeking a speaker to fill a conference slot. The names she was considering were new to me. I did a Google search to see what their footprint would tell me about them. (What would a Google search say about you? I digress, that’s a different story.) In addition to seeing how active the individuals were in the credit union movement, I found Twitter and LinkedIn profiles. Connections were made.
Josh Allison, CUDE, was selected to fill the presentation slot. I looked forward to meeting him and having a chance to visit at the conference. Our Twitter connection already “broke the ice”.
Based on our conversations, Josh recommended a book he thought I'd be interested in. He was spot on. We discussed the book. We communicate via Facebook, Twitter, email, list serves, talk on the phone, and in person when we have the opportunity. With each connection, our relationship grows. With different knowledge, experience, and passions, we have opportunities to mentor each other.
Different Generations/Perspectives + Shared Passions = Opportunities to Make a Difference
Fast Forward…Clearing out the inbox on a Friday afternoon, I came across an email Josh sent out through the Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE) list serve. With his permission, I’m sharing his story with you:
Good afternoon DE network.
This week, I was watching a variety of www.Bizkids.com videos for an educational project we are working on. I was watching the episode on Social Entrepreneurship. As I watched, the video clips would highlight young adults who had started community nonprofits. They would share why they started their respective nonprofit organization, their socially minded business, or the cause they chose to champion. Causes that included TayBear, Richards Rwanda and Room to Read.
A reoccurring theme ran through all of these videos.
They told a story.
Not any story. Their story. They explained why they took up this cause, and what moved and impacted them. They didn’t tell me about the tax write off I would receive if I donated, who I make the check payable to, or ask how much I could spare? They simply asked for me to listen…and then passionately shared… Recently, I re-watched the powerful story from Jessica Jackley, the founder of Kiva.
She didn’t ask for donations, for people to join her, or to support her and Kiva…she simply shared her experience working with poverty. She shared the need she saw, the emotion she felt and the compassion that compelled her to found Kiva. And it compelled me, too. Then, I jumped on my favorite social site: Facebook. At the end of each page, Facebook politely asks me if I want to see more “stories”.
And I do.
I scan for stories, not sales pitches. Not ads. Not organizations or individuals interested in useless self-promotion. I scan and read, looking for the stories of people I know, hoping to better understand and know them deeper. We crave authenticity…
So, here’s my question: do we have an authentic story to share? I believe we do. When our members come into our credit unions, do they understand who we are, what wedid and what we do? Do they know our story?
More importantly, do we?
Are we sharing authentic stories or selling? Have we resigned ourselves to simply compete on product, price, promotion and place? I wonder, what if we stopped selling with the four P’s and started first with sharing just one: Purpose.
If you’re successfully sharing your authentic story, I’d love to hear from you!
Josh Allison, CUDE
Well said Josh!